The Union home ministry has sought a report from the West Bengal government for allegedly filing “false and fabricated complaints” against opposition leaders in the state.
The move came after the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sent a letter to the home ministry with an attachment of a letter by the leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Assembly and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Suvendu Adhikari alleging chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led Bengal government of false and fabricated cases being registered against opposition leaders here.
The letter was sent by Mrutyunjay Tripathy, Union home under-secretary to HK Dwivedi, chief secretary of West Bengal earlier this month.
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“I am directed to forward herewith a copy of letter received from Prime Minister’s Office along with a copy of letter of Suvendu Adhikari, alleging registration false and fabricated cases against opposition leaders and party workers by the West Bengal government,” stated the letter sent to the West Bengal government.
“As the issue raised in the petition is concerned with the government of West Bengal, it is requested that the matter be looked into appropriately and a report in the matter may please be furnished to the ministry immediately,” the letter by the home ministry said.
Adhikari had also approached the Calcutta high court seeking an order directing the quashing of the first information reports (FIR), following which in December 2022, the high court stayed 17 FIRs registered against Adhikari and restrained the state government from filing fresh cases against him.
In December 2022, Adhikari met Union home minister Amit Shah at the latter’s chamber in the Parliament and it was learnt that during his meeting with Shah, he handed over a list of 30 FIRs lodged against him at various police stations in the state.
Responding to the allegations, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Santanu Sen said that Adhikari’s only task throughout the day was to malign the state.
“He runs to the centre at the slightest pretext to stop funds and send (enquiry) committees to West Bengal. He is outside the jail just because he joined the BJP. Had he been any other party, he would have been arrested by now,” Sen said.
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In January, Indian Secular Front (ISF) leader Nawsad Siddique was arrested and charged under non-bailable sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 307 (attempt to murder). He was granted bail by the Calcutta high court after 39 days.
Earlier this month state Congress spokesperson and advocate Koustav Bagchi was arrested for allegedly making derogatory remarks against CM Banerjee. He was, however, granted bail by the court within a few hours.
BJP leader Rahul Sinha said that the opposition leaders and workers in the state are being targeted on a regular basis. “They are repeatedly coming under attack from the ruling party workers. Police do not take complaints. Instead, false and fabricated cases are lodged against opposition leaders. It is good that the centre has taken note and has sought a report,” Sinha said.